Tag Archives: teen & young adult

Duke of a Gilded Age • #Free

City_of_new_yorkLong before the maiden voyage of the Titanic (1912), luxury steamships were crossing the Atlantic Ocean. One such vessel was the twin screw steamer, SS City of New York (pictured). First class accommodations were meant to evoke the interior of a luxury hotel, with such amenities as a sumptuous dining room (saloon), library, smoking room, drawing room, hot and cold running water, barber shop, walking track on the promenade deck, electric ventilation and electric lighting.

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Steamship: Saloon (1890), photograph by Granger, courtesy of Fine Art America

As enjoyable as ocean travel might for the moneyed elite aboard these luxury liners, it was not without difficulty. Deadly icebergs would frequently break off from the western coastline of Greenland and these “calves” would float south through shipping lanes. The thick Atlantic fog that often surrounded these huge steamers would obscure hapless fishing vessels, leading to collisions. Should a ship suffer some sort of mechanical failure, it would be at the mercy of passing vessels to render aid. Opportunistic passengers known as cardsharps might also pose a danger to wealthy gentlemen who enjoyed a high stakes game of cards or two. In addition, stormy seas often led to lengthy bouts of sea sickness. Nevertheless, the lure of a relatively quick voyage (a little over six days in 1890) between continents far outweighed the potential dangers. Such is the setting for my sweet historical romance, Duke of a Gilded Age.

Victorian Romance, Duke of a Gilded AgeWhen American-born Wesley Parker inherits a dukedom in 1890, he must learn to be an aristocrat. Assigned to the task is his attorney’s daughter, prim Belle Oakhurst. As they travel to England together on a luxurious ocean liner, their tempestuous relationship encounters more than rough seas. Although Wesley is increasingly attracted to Belle, she is already engaged. While Belle begins to regret her hasty promise to marry, she is bound by honor and duty to keep her pledge. Furthermore, a thoughtless fabrication on her part threatens to expose her as a liar. Neither Wesley nor Belle can foresee that their voyage across the Atlantic will be fraught with peril, and will cost more than one man his life.

Download Duke of a Gilded Age free (March 26 – 28, 2017) HERE.

Read a sample excerpt HERE.

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SPINSTER • Excerpt • Sweet Victorian Romance

spinster36At the dinner table that evening, Clare decided to broach the topic of her future to her family.

“You’ve been walking on eggshells around me since I was jilted, and I feel dreadful for causing you such discomfort.”

“Nonsense.” Her father’s voice was gruff. “You’ve held up remarkably well, all things considered.”

Her sister’s response was far more dramatic. “If it had been me, I would have taken to my bed for weeks.”

Lady Ladd gave Clare a sympathetic glance. “We’ve just been worried about you, dearest.”

“I know, and I love you for it. But you needn’t worry about me any longer.” Clare cleared her throat. “On Monday, I’m going away.”

“I concur.” Sir Andrew glanced up from his cucumber soup. “A holiday might be just the thing to take your mind off your troubles.”

“Yes, indeed, that’s a wonderful idea.” Lady Ladd seemed relieved. “Perhaps a few days in London will pick up your spirits?”

“If you’re going to Brighton, do take me along.” Nell’s expression was hopeful. “I’d love to go sea bathing.”

“I’m not going on holiday.” Clare paused to let a sudden rush of emotion relax its grip on her throat. “Grandmama left me her cottage just outside of Stroud and a reasonable income. I’m going there to begin a new life on my own.”

Her pronouncement was met with a long moment of shocked silence.

“No.” Her father finally erupted in protest. “Are you out of your senses? It’s not proper for you to live alone and unchaperoned.”

“Unchaperoned?” Clare’s laugh sounded bitter, even to her own ears. “Papa, we must face the fact I’m no longer a debutante whose reputation must be carefully guarded. Forgive me for speaking plainly, but I’m on the shelf. Your eldest daughter is a spinster.”

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Spinster is available at a special pre-release price of $0.99 HERE.  After Spinster is released on Thursday, January 26, 2017 it will be priced at $2.99, so don’t wait!